Bello brothers win beach volleyball bronze at 2022 Commonwealth Games

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Javier and Joaquin Bello edged Rwanda 2-0 (21-11; 21-12) to win a historic beach volleyball bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

If there was a roof over the Smithfield Arena – or, as it was affectionately nicknamed, the “Bellodrome” – it would have been blown off as the Bellos rocketed to victory.

The Bellos were cool and calm and put Rwanda under relentless pressure, controlling the game throughout.

A landmark day for the country, the medal ranks among England’s finest achievements on the world stage. This comes 5 years after the Bello brothers won gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games.

The Bellos beat Tuvalu 2-0 (21-10; 21-12) and Cyprus 2-0 (21-11; 21-18) in Group C but lost to New Zealand 2-0 (19- 21; 16-21) to qualify for the quarter-finals.

There they beat The Gambia 2-1 (21-16; 20-22; 15-12) in what was a war on the pitch but, despite a strong start, they were stopped in the semi-finals by Canada in a 1-2 (21; 15; 13-21; 7-15) encounter, setting them up for a bronze medal game against Rwanda.

“I dedicate my medal to my family”

“This is by far the greatest achievement we’ve ever had,” Joaquin said. “It’s the biggest stage we’ve ever played in at a senior event, but it won’t be the last.

“I am incredibly grateful to my family. I dedicate my medal to my family. They worked as hard as we did to get here. I know the sacrifice of my parents and I am very proud of them.

“We want to move up the world rankings and try to qualify for Paris 2024 [Olympic Games] and just be the best beach volleyball players we can be.”

Javier added: “We were gutted yesterday [after losing their semifinal] and it ignited [our] intensity. From the first to the last point, we were at our maximum speed, we were pushing the serve, we weren’t letting them breathe much. I’m really proud of my brother, how he stuck with it and how he helped me when I was in trouble. I’m really proud of my performance [too].

“This event is going to be huge for beach volleyball. The number of people cheering us on from the stands, from their homes on TV, on social media, seeing what an amazing show it is and how it can be enjoyed in the UK as well as in Brazil and elsewhere . We have a competitive team and supporters, so why can’t it be as important as football or any other sport? »

The DJ team had a party

The Bellos’ bronze medal came two days after compatriots Daisy Mumby and Jess Grimson were knocked out of the competition after a gutsy performance against New Zealand in the quarter-finals. The match that ended their competition ended with a score of 2-0 (21-13; 21-15).

2-0 wins over Solomon Islands (21-10; 21-6) and Auld Enemy Scotland (21-17; 21-15) meant a showdown with 2018 bronze medalists Vanuatu for top spot in the group C for Daisy and Jess.

The DJ team gave it their all but it wasn’t enough, with the match ending 2-0 (21-9; 21-19), which saw them draw against the Kiwis in the first round of the round of 16.

We couldn’t have asked for more from Daisy and Jess. They gave it their all and can leave Birmingham with their heads held high after putting on some fantastic volleyball displays and helping to take the Smithfield beach volleyball party to another level.

An upward trajectory

Born in Spain. Made in England. The Bellos brothers, just 22 years old, continue to impress on the world stage with ever greater accomplishments.

The twins have been playing volleyball since they were 6 years old and made history from an early age. In their trophy cabinet, Javier and Joaquin have a Commonwealth Youth Games gold medal (2017), two FIVB World Tour bronze medals (2019 and 2021) a World Tour gold medal too ( 2021) and ahead of the Commonwealth Games they won a gold medal at the NEVZA Beach Championships (2022). And that’s not counting domestic achievements, where they’re back-to-back defending national champions.

Richmond, where they also coach, is their local volleyball club. Javier recently graduated in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Royal Holloway University, while Joaquin has just started his fifth year of medical studies at Imperial College.

Jess and Daisy are a new partnership having teamed up in early 2020. Jess has won a bronze medal on the World Tour, multiple top-10 finishes and competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Daisy, from London, is carved an unconventional path to the national team. A talented recreational player, she has been encouraged to take beach volleyball more seriously in recent years – and the decision has paid off.

Jess played volleyball for 18 years – part of that time at Wessex VC – while Daisy has 10 years of experience in the game. The pair finished co-winners in the Commonwealth Games Fundraising Tournament without losing a set and was finally able to make his World Tour debut at the end of 2021, qualifying for the 2nd round of a 4* event. They won a historic gold medal for England at the NEVZA Beach Championships ahead of the Commonwealth Games.


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